Will robots replace pets?

Robotic pets and companions are becoming more and more popular as time goes by. Since their early days in the 1990s, some recent models are dramatically more sophisticated than their predecessors. 

They vary widely in design and capabilities and the following 7 robotic pets might just be the cutest ones yet. Needless to say, the following list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.

Robot pets have come a long way since they first started to appear on the market a few decades ago. Modern-day versions are smarter than ever and many use AI-technology to ‘learn’ from their interactions.

But will robots ever replace real animal pets? As they become ever more realistic in appearance and character it’s a distinct possibility in the future.

« [Humans] have evolved to be attuned to other life forms – and not only other human life forms, » says Gail Melson, a psychologist and professor emerita at Purdue University. Gail and other psychologists have been studying how children interact with robotic pets.
They found that while children do tend to treat them like inanimate objects compared to real animals they did show signs of an emotional attachment. 
For example, they felt bad if they ever ‘hurt’ the robot or were asked if they wanted to throw them away.

But for many, there will never be an artificial robotic substitute for a real-life pet like a cat or a dog. It is likely robotic pets will simply compliment real animals rather than completely replace them.
It is likely, however, that less interactive pets like fish could readily be replaced with robotic versions wholesale in the future. After all, you’d get all the benefits of watching fish swimming around a tank without the worry of having to feed them or clean the tank.

But, only time will tell for the future of robotic pets.

Lire la suite: interestingengineering.com

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